Man on Wire

25wire-75 Philippe Petit captured the world's attention in 1974 when he walked across a high wire between New York's Twin Towers. This Oscar winner for Best Documentary explores the preparations that went into the stunt as well as the event and its aftermath.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.6
NYT Critics' Pick
James Marsh's "Man on Wire" is a thorough, understated and altogether enthralling documentary. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 100%
Critics' score: 100   Audience score: 88   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

It all makes for an absorbing, mischievously amusing yarn, whose climax unfolds with unexpected emotional force. full review

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

In this exhilarating, palm-moistening documentary by British filmmaker James Marsh (Wisconsin Death Trip), the twin towers are back to celebrate one of their finest moments. full review

By any rational gauge, Petit's WTC obsession was flat-out crazy, but Marsh takes a limpid, nonjudgmental view of it all. full review

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

Though we know how it ends, it unfolds with suspense. And though it lacks any discussion of the towers' destruction, it succeeds as a tribute to their birth. full review

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle

James Marsh tells Petit's story, the most inspiring 'heist' in modern history, a Frenchman's stroll between two 110 story buildings in lower Manhattan. full review

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

In archival photos Petit seems to float between the towers, a tiny black figure against a vivid blue sky; the images are all the more poignant for the unstated fact that Petit is still around when the buildings aren't. full review

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader

Astonishing. Daring. Mind-boggling. Visually stunning. A true heart-stopper. And, oh yeah, the movie's pretty good, too. full review

Tom Long, Detroit News

It's a rare tale of dangerous obsession rapturously fulfilled, a reminder that even the most quixotic of undertakings can knock over a windmill now and then. full review

Christopher Orr, New Republic

The word 'documentary' doesn't begin to do justice to [director] Marsh's achievement. full review

Christy Lemire, Associated Press

A documentary about a towering act of daring proves a spine-tingling memorial to recklessness as art. full review

Ty Burr, Boston Globe

A gift of a documentary. full review

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

They say that seeing is believing, but Man on Wire will make you doubt what your eyes are telling you -- it really will -- as you shake your head in amazement and awe. full review

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

There's nothing on movie screens now that can compare with the footage of Petit's performance. full review

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Man on Wire, the delightful documentary about French tightrope walker Philippe Petit's incroyable early-morning trip between the World Trade Center towers in 1974, is an interesting film to watch from the front row. full review

Reyhan Harmanci, San Francisco Chronicle

This film is a celebration of human achievement; it soars with the promise that we are shackled to the ground only by lack of imagination and will. full review

Peter Howell, Toronto Star

Part of what makes Man on Wire so enthralling, and so entertaining, is the filmmaker's skill in laying out the illegal caper's logistics, mainly through interviews with Philippe and his support team. full review

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

[A] heart-stopping, knee-buckling and transcendent account. full review

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

Constructed like a first-rate thriller. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

[Director] Marsh creates a transfixing documentary feature that doubles as a celebration of one man and an elegy to two buildings that are no more. full review

Kamal Al-Solaylee, Globe and Mail

The film's soaring climax becomes surprisingly emotional thanks to testimony from those lucky enough to have witnessed it. full review

Rafer Guzman, Newsday
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